New RCVS Prescription Rules

New rules from 1st September 2023

From 1st September the Royal College of veterinary Surgeons (RCVS, the regulatory body for the veterinary profession in the UK) is introducing a new guidance on prescribing prescription only medicines. 

The full guidance can be found on :  

The new guidance requires that a physical examination of the pet has to be performed every time any antibiotics, antifungals, antivirals and antiparasiticides are prescribed.  This includes topical preparations such as ear and eye drops, and all prescription flea/worm/tick products.

The guidance is an important step towards ensuring responsible use and reducing the veterinary impact on the wider issues of global antibiotic resistance and decline of insect populations.   What this means in practice is that your pet will need to come in for an in-person consultation every time:

  • we need to prescribe medication for an ear infection (contain antibiotics)
  • we need to prescribe antibiotics for any skin problem, even if its a chronic problem.
  • we/you decide to change from one flea/worm/tick product to another
  • we suspect a urinary tract infection (remote / online consultation and urine analysis/culture are no longer sufficient)
  • we suspect a gastrointestinal infection (remote / online consultation and faecal analysis/culture are no longer sufficient)

We also can no longer prescribe prescription deworming products on the basis of a laboratory report alone, we will need to see the pet for a consultation and physical examination first.

For long term prescription medication that is not an antibiotic/antiparasitic, our usual policy of requiring an examination every 3-6 months (depending on the medication used) continues to apply.

initial consultation charge – £46

follow up consultation charge – £35

Prescription check charge – £32

Flea/tick/wormer check charge – £0 (any other issues – consultation fee applies strictly for flea/worm products only)

Generally this changes little with how we work except for having to re examine the animal if we/you decide to change the treatment needed.

If you have any questions or concerns about the new guidance, the RCVS can be contacted on: 02072020789 or

Contact Us

See our Contact Us page for our appointment times and call Drake Vets on 01822 854 255 to book.